May 15, 1942


Are Catholics Allowed to Attend Protestant Funerals and Marriages?


Catholics are not allowed to assist actively and formally at religious services of non-Catholics; but they may be allowed to assist passively and materially if there is a serious reason, no scandal and no danger to one’s faith.


These are the rules of Catholic theology on such matters and they are not so complicated as they seem.  Active assistance would mean taking part in the liturgical acts of the Protestant sect.  Formal attendance would imply approval of the service and the intent to worship God thus.


On the other hand material attendance or assistance is the non-approving presence of a person at the Protestant service.  Such is the act of a Catholic who attends a Protestant wedding or funeral.  All persons are bound by the laws of courtesy, and it must often happen that Catholics are invited to assist at religious functions of persons familiar to them in business or social contact.  By  attending, the Catholics intend to pay honor to a person not a sect.